According to one rumor, the Toronto Blue Jays have been getting calls on Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar. Do these rumors make sense?
It is cold and dark here at the end of January. Sometimes, you have to do things to keep warm; things you wouldn’t normally admit to doing. Warmth is something that can be achieved with the right amount of effort. With the right amount of creativity, you can generate enough heat to keep you going. Well, perhaps that is what is going on with the latest Toronto Blue Jays rumor out there.
According to Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, the Blue Jays have been fielding calls about their newly (?) acquired short stop, Troy Tulowitzki. According to his source, they “have listened on Tulowitzki”. Murray does concede that it is unclear if anything is in the works, but he does say that as the season gets closer and closer and Tulo goes through Spring Training, he’ll be less likely to accept a trade (he has a no-trade clause in his contract that was triggered when he was dealt to Toronto) as he’ll start to feel part of things.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but this might be the most unlikely rumor I’ve heard all winter. Do we really think that the Blue Jays are looking to move Tulo? Really? He’s not even had a chance to live up to his own name. Now, it would make sense that clubs have called about him. Why wouldn’t they? He’s Troy Tulowitzki. But, it just doesn’t make sense for the Blue Jays to start chipping away at the best offense in the game. It makes less sense for them to do this when you consider that they have operated this whole offseason with the impression that the bats will carry the pitching. Removing Tulo from the lineup makes the rotation look that much more worrisome.
Now, maybe Murray and his source are correct. Maybe clubs have been calling since the “beginning of the offseason”. But, everything this club has done during said offseason has indicated that Tulo is here to stay. Their pitching depends on Tulo in the lineup and on the field.
Perhaps, that is the issue. Maybe some people are latching on to the fact that Tulo’s health is a question mark. After all, he hasn’t played 140 games since 2011. He hasn’t played 150 since 2009. But, even with his cracked shoulder, he managed 128 last season. Tulo is a career .297 hitter and a 5 WAR player. When you have this guy, you keep him.
While a potential Tulo deal doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, the other rumor (from the same piece) that Murray throws at us is that clubs have also called on Kevin Pillar. Again, Murray’s source tells him that Pillar has been the subject of the most phone calls this winter.
Here’s what Murray says: “Teams value his speed and defense, as well as his upside. In trade offers, teams were offering the Blue Jays either starting pitching or back end relievers in return for Pillar, but it wasn’t enough for the team to pull the trigger on a deal. If the Blue Jays are going to trade Pillar, it would likely have a number two starting pitcher going back to Toronto.”
Pillar’s value may never be higher than it is this offseason and the Blue Jays would be silly to not listen on him. But, they would also be silly to not cash in on those calls by asking for a decent starter. As for just what the return would be, Murray’s suggestion is the most obvious. But, the fact that Pillar is still a Blue Jay either means that the return wasn’t as high as the club would like, or they value Pillar and his ceiling immensely (can he be a 4 win player again?), or there weren’t that many calls to begin with. Or, all three…or a combination thereof.
With Spring Training approaching, clubs will be looking to finalize their rosters. Potential moves like the ones rumored above aren’t exactly the ‘roster finalizing’ type. They are the kind of deals you would expect to see at the Winter Meetings or some other event earlier in the winter. Or, these are the kind of rumors that just might be out there to grab attention and may never amount to anything. Regardless, it does help take your mind off the cold, even if it is just long enough to shake your head.
*Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.